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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
    151 times
    BBC needs new ideas, viewers say

    The BBC must be more ambitious and innovative in its programming, audiences have told the corporation.

    Viewers and listeners are saying "loud and clear that they want fresh and new ideas", according to the new BBC Trust.

    The Trust revealed details of its audience research as the broadcaster's annual report was published.

    Spending on TV drama will go up by more than 16% this year, it was revealed, while a boost in income has led to a surplus of £60m in the BBC's finances.

    This is the first annual report since the Trust was set up to oversee the corporation's activities and act as the licence fee payers' voice.

    In the most comprehensive survey ever undertaken by the corporation, the Trust asked 4,500 people how well they thought the BBC was performing in key areas.

    BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons said: "The core message from our report is that the area where there is a significant and noteworthy gap between public value and their perceived performance is under the heading of innovation.

    "Here we identify a real challenge for the BBC to do more in the future.

    "This is not technology, this is about programme content. People want to be constantly challenged by new and exciting programmes but this an area where there's a gap in perceived performance."

    Bigger funds were ploughed into programmes in the financial year of 2006/7, according to the BBC's annual report.

    More than £3bn was spent on BBC services, up 5% from the previous year, with more money going into original drama and entertainment, especially on BBC One, managers said.

    In drama, money was focused on Saturday evening shows such as Robin Hood and Doctor Who, and midweek pre-watershed series like Waterloo Road.


    £7.54 - eight national TV channels

    £1.17 - ten national radio stations

    £1.01 - transmitters and licence fee collection

    75p - forty local radio stations

    49p - More than 240 websites

    Source: BBC annual report

    "Our audience research indicates that BBC One is seen as the best channel for drama, and that they want more high quality original drama on the channel," the report said.

    Drama spending will increase by 16.4% in the current financial year, while the comedy budget will increase 9.1%.

    And with ratings to BBC One and BBC Two continuing to decline, the Trust warned that the corporation could not afford to "stand still".

    They noted that the audience for soaps such as EastEnders had fallen 10% in the last three years.

    The number of repeats fell slightly in peak time but increased during other hours. The Trust has asked executives to "retain the commitment to decrease repeats in peak time".

    BBC director general Mark Thompson said it had been a "momentous year" for the corporation.


    BBC One - 78% of population tune in every week

    BBC Two - 57%

    BBC Three - 14%

    BBC Four - 6%

    Radio 1 - 21%

    Radio 2 - 27%

    Radio 3 - 4%

    Radio 4 - 19%

    Five Live - 12%

    Local radio in England - 19%

    Source: BBC annual report

    "With The Street, Life on Mars and How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?, it was a fine year for TV drama and entertainment," he said.

    "Planet Earth combined extraordinary technical innovation with awe-inspiring artistry.

    "But there were bumps along the way." Problems with phone-ins on Saturday Kitchen and Blue Peter broke the trust of the audience, he said.

    The BBC Trust described the problems as "serious breaches in standards" and said it would review that area later this year.

    Also on Tuesday, former BBC chairman Michael Grade separately called for a "zero tolerance" approach to misleading viewers over phone-ins.

    Elsewhere in the annual report, the BBC said its efficiency drive had saved £228m over two years, while total licence fee income and commercial profits were up £172m in the last 12 months.

    Director general Mark Thompson was paid a total of £788,000 in the last financial year - up £18,000 on the previous year - but all executives have waived their most recent bonuses.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    255 times
    I would like to see the return of real television plays. Set bound and preferably on videotape. The recent series of afternoon plays were OK but like most 'one-off' dramas they are really mini-films. The cry that audiences won't accept videotaped programmes is IMHO rubbish, look at how many people watch the top 'soaps' which are all videotaped. Eastenders used to experiment with the format (eg the famous 'Den and Angie' episode) and these episodes proved extremely popular. Most people I speak to about TV (and I don't just mean old farts like me) say they are 'fed up' with the current type of 'one off drama' which invariably serve no purpose other than to give some series regular a break from their normal roles. I read elsewhere that 'classic' dramas are to be curtailed because of the expense. One of the best dramas the BBC ever produced was John Osborne's adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray with Jeremy Brett, John Gielgud and Peter Firth. Three good actors, a great script and only two or three sets. It looked like it cost very little to make but was magnificent. I think the BBC should try and diversify it's output and think quality for a change. There is a place in the world for the current type of 'one off' drama and series such as 'Holby Blue', but there is also an audience out there crying out for something to challenge them as well as entertain them.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: Scotland silverwhistle's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    If they spent less money getting into silly bidding-wars for imported shows (like Heroes), they'd have more to make their own. I miss the classic dramas. They could, of course, repeat some!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Sep 2006
    5 times
    I agree repeat some old dramas from the 60's, 70's and 80's people loved these shows and beleive it or not we would love to see them again as you forget story lines and its great refreshing your memory and letting new generations watch them. To many silly programs are on BBC now that you just would not watch or enjoy. Better still update old sitcoms and bring them to present day and lets see how lives turned out in them as we loved the old fashioned humour that we no longer see sadly.

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